CREATION
GRANTS

Grant Recipients

We’re proud to present the selected recipients of our Creation Grants and the projects they are engaged in. Each round provides four grants of US$500 each to support a project involving lens-based media. Applications are free and open to practitioners in Asia.

This initiative is part of our mission to support the visual media community in Asia, and meant to help give a little boost of motivation (and cash).  If you would like to help bring to life four projects by sponsoring a round, please get in touch with us

VIEW RECIPIENTS FROM: 
ROUND 1 ROUND 2ROUND 3

ROUND 3 RECIPIENTS

We want to thank the wonderful individual who came forward to sponsor this entire round – Inga-Leena Schwager. Thank you so much for believing in this initiative and wanting to support the aspirations of visual artists in Asia!

Announced on 4 April 2022.

SELECTION COMMITTEE: Uma Bista (Nepal)
Ekkarat Punyatara (Thailand)
Jes Aznar (PH)

Arabella Paner
Philippines

“I thought I saw a falling star softly land on my shoulder”

Ivan Darski
Indonesia

“Shadow of the Unseen”

Nadishka
Sri Lanka

Exploring Creativity, Capturing Emotions!” Photo Workshops for Youths

Min Ma Maing
Myanmar

“of solongs and ashes”

ROUND 2 RECIPIENTS

Announced on 9 Sept 2021.

SELECTION COMMITTEE: Maika Elan (Vietnam)
Ben K. C. Laksana (Indonesia)
Tammy David (PH)

Debsuddha
India

“Epilogue”

Atika Zata Amani
Indonesia

“Feeding the Nation”

Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq
Bangladesh

“Dark Garden”

Colin Dancel
Philippines

“Forms of Grief”

ROUND 1 RECIPIENTS

Announced on 15 Nov 2021

SELECTION COMMITTEE: Sean Lee (Singapore)
Anshika Varma (India)
Katrin Koenning (Aus/Ger)

Anupam Diwan
India

“Mother’s Garden”

Farhana Satu
Myanmar

জল/জীবন (Water/Life)”

Saobora Narin
Cambodia

“On the Way”

R.A
Myanmar

“Reverse River”

ROUND 3 RECIPIENT

Arabella Paner
Philippines

arabellapaner.com
IG @arabellapaner

I thought I saw a falling star softly land on my shoulder

As my mother champions a rare neurodegenerative disease, motherhood quietly announces itself to me. In the reversal of our roles, I learn the weight of the word mothering as I deal with the loss of the old nature of our relationship. I thought I saw a falling star softly land on my shoulder is an ongoing work that allows me to navigate the many layers of motherhood and caregiving and the intimate relationship between life and decay.

This project is currently ongoing.

Arabella Paner is a photographer and a poet based in Laguna, Philippines.
She sees photography as an act of looking. To look, while carrying the possibilities of both error and chance.

ROUND 3 RECIPIENT

Ivan Darski
Indonesia

IG @ivandarski

Shadow of the Unseen

For more than two decades, a church in Surabaya has been a safe space for a community of trans women.  The congregation of the Fellowship of the Holy Heart of Peace (PHDK) was founded in the home of Mother Handayani, one of its members, and are cared for by Pastor Yoni. The church and PHDK house is also a nursing home for trans women who have been abandoned by its families. This project seeks to frame this important movement by following and showing the  community, their worship and daily activities.

This project is currently ongoing.

Ivan Darski is a photojournalist based in Surabaya interesting in covering human rights, marginal community and urban issues in his hometown. His work has been appeared in several media outlet like VICE Indonesia, Asian Democratic Chronicle, New Naratif, The Jakarta Post, Project Mutatuli, and Al Jazeera English and so on.

ROUND 3 RECIPIENT

Nadishka
Sri Lanka

@nadishkar
www.nadishka.com

“Exploring Creativity, Capturing Emotions!”

This project brings photography workshops to schools in more remote areas of Sri Lanka to give them the opportunity to learn more about the craft and to engage in practical activities with camera equipment. 

The grant will be used for two worshops in the Kalutara District, involving students over the age of 14.  The aim is to enhance the aesthetic sense of children through the use of photography, and to bring relief to the lives of children who are being educated in the midst of difficulties. Children will also get the knowledge of how to look empathetically at the social experiences they constantly encounter and how to create them into a picture.

Nadishka came into the field of photography after having obtained a B.A. (Hons) in Image Arts from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. In 2012, he started to share his knowledge of photography through photography workshops, seminars, and YouTube tutorials. He has been a professional photographer for over a decade and currently work as a Portrait Photographer and founder at the Academy of Photography in Sri Lanka.

ROUND 3 RECIPIENT

Min Ma Maing
Myanmar

“of Solongs and Ashes

tea-leaves salad, tea leave salad with dried beef, hasty hugs, tamarind whiskey sour, military boots, splashes of rains, touches, Yangon, guilt, fear, sound bombs, Sule Pagoda, fly glue trap ( yes, I know it’s cruel), Pansoedan, rusty locks, my front door with 3 locks, tears, tear gas, old film wheel, cockroach passing on the top of my feet, Changi airport, red lipstick I only wore once, “Safe Travels, Don’t Die”, rusty pipes, chipmunks, noisy batch of pigeons on my roof, hawkers, Ithaca, Polaroid first sheet which says “Love Me Tender”, red Chelsea boots, broken bricks, snow, 45min walk to home, home, forest home, pots and pans, the Downstairs, 8pm,mom, old man flannel shirt, Vici, tailless gecko which Vici probably played with, ice green tea, flix bus,15hour flight, Ngapi, Insein prison, gorges, quarantines, tomato soup from food pantry, shrink, Trumansburg, Acai Sobert, blanket,spring, Shan Noodle Shop, Crime Alerts, tasteless chewing gum after 3 hour, backstreets, deers’ eyes, mom’s dry fingers, Craiglist, Tinder, coma, chickpea powder, Danny, grief, ice machine sounds which reminds me of San Chaung nights, red fox, Father’s Office,Ouzo, vertigo, Central Park, Boa, my summer green dress which you said you like, walk with me to Beebe Lake, 37th street studio, woods, traffic, car stopping sounds, oxygen, 4am alarm, non-stop hair pulling, butternut squash, Franklin house, ambulance sound heard from the phone, get lost, walk, Brook Lane, I miss mango ice cream from Anawrahta Road (I realized I never learn its name), repeating sound of fluorescent light, last jasmine flower bought on the way to the airport, slippers, have you ever tasted snow with maple syrup?
The Title “of solongs and ashes” is extracted from E.E.Cummings’s “into the strenuous briefness”

Min Ma Naing is a personal documentary photographer from Myanmar, who was based in Yangon till June 2021. Starting out as a press photographer, she decided to focus on personal documentary stories. She is also interested in making photobooks as art objects and another layer of story telling apart from image making. She has adopted the temporary pseudonym “Min Ma Naing” because of the political situation in Myanmar. It means “The King Cannot Beat You”. She has been working on stories related with diaspora and personal trauma on aftermath of military coup.

ROUND 2 RECIPIENT

EPILOGUE

This ongoing project is about the journey of my mother where her present dire physical condition due to the post Covid effect is entangled with the psychological struggle due to the loss of her husband as well as my father who lost the twenty days battle with Covid in June 2021 when the massive second wave of Corona Virus has hit again the entire India, and made the people of the country to suffer as immensely as it could be.

Being a son I intend to showcase the way of coping with the silence through the present life of my mother who had thirty five years of married life with my late father, and the very reason to showcase the vacillating situation through my mother is a way to face and fight my own fear of losing my very own people and to ease my mind.

This project is currently ongoing.

ROUND 2 RECIPIENT

Atikah Zata Amani
Indonesia

atikahzata.com
IG @azatani

Feeding the Nations

Feeding the Nation is a long-term documentary photography project examining the conditions of farming in a rapidly shifting landscape and economy, highlighting the individual and nuanced stories that are often overlooked. I began this project in 2019 as an attempt to document the farmer’s life, future, and relationship with the country’s rapid progression. This project has led me to several other farming communities in various places in Indonesia.

This project is currently ongoing.

ROUND 2 RECIPIENT

Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq
Bangladesh

www.mdfazlarabbifatiq.com
IG @mdfazlarabbifatiq

Dark Garden

The place is gloomy yet beautiful, fireflies roam in the dark, water streams flow from the mountains, and the scenic beauty of the narrow muddy roads making way across the tea plantation sometimes feel like the world of magic reality. On the contrary, a hand of a worker who got crippled in an accident while working on a machine in a tea factory, brought us back to a complex reality.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, during the colonial period when the Tea plantation started in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh, a larger part of the plantation was occupied by the British merchants. People from different parts of greater India including Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, were brought as workers to the tea garden. It was never easy and extremely hard to work in the enormous acres of plantation due to weather, heat and humidity. Today in Bangladesh there are nearly 167 Tea plantations and about 4,40,843 workers and family members in Bangladesh. These workers have different lifestyles, language and culture. Even after centuries of hardships and domination, they still couldn’t afford to own a piece of land for themselves. No one can save money from their earnings or move to start living in mainstream society. Their lives are tied in a cycle of earning daily wages which is equal to 1.42 USD. Still today even after ages, the plantation workers are living in the small mud houses in the middle of the tea garden. Time is passing generation after generation, but the fate of the Tea plantation workers did not change a little.

The story of this dark garden is complex, where we see the faces of the workers, their culture and beliefs in between the melancholic landscape whose voices could not reach us.

This project is currently ongoing.

ROUND 2 RECIPIENT

Colin Dancel
Philippines

www.colindancel.com
IG @colindancel

Forms of Grief

I feel a calling to search for something. My gut tells me that I am yearning for my truth – who am I? What makes me? I am learning that in order to find out, I must embrace all that I am. My joy but mostly my pain.

There are many forms of grief. Mine happens to be in marrying movement and photography. Each fleeting moment is a breath, a memory and a reminder of life and being alive. This project, Forms of Grief is both an embrace and a surrender of our grievances, our anger and resentment. I hope to explore and welcome different ideologies that grief is interdependent with such as time, memory, nostalgia and just simply being alive.

This project is currently ongoing.

ROUND 1 RECIPIENT

Anupam Diwan
India

www.anupamdiwan.com
IG @anupamdiwan

Mother’s Garden

Mother’s Garden is a work that emerged during initial lockdowns in the country in 2020, as I traveled back with my elder brother to our home in Chhattisgarh, a state which lies in Central India.

In a town called ‘Tilda’ where both of my parents live & work, who are now inching towards their retirements. Around five years ago they built a house here, leaving an ample space to which my mother gave form and life. She had always wanted to move to the city, but it never seemed likely.

Eventually, the garden became her refuge in this sometimes-ill-looking & lonesome industrial town. And so it did for me when confinement had become inevitable and the world narrowed down.

This project is currently being produced as a book. For more details, visit Anupam’s website.

ROUND 1 RECIPIENT

Farhana Satu
Bangladesh

www.farhanasatu.com
IG @aronnika

জল/জীবন (Water/Life)

I belong to the south-western part of Bangladesh, low-lying coastal area, where the largest mangrove forest of the world named Sundarban exists. Located at the confluence of Brahmaputra River and the Ganga river, the villages here is surrounded by crisscross network of rivers and expansive delta with thousand variation of trees, plants and climbers. People share a never-ending relationship with water, nature and forest from the day they have been born.

In this part of the country global warming is increasing the severity and frequency of cyclones, storms, droughts, floods and saline water. Rising sea levels mean that low-lying coastal areas of Bangladesh may disappear altogether. Relative sea level rise in Bangladesh is greater that in many other countries, due to the simultaneous submergence of low coastal areas. As climate change is having an immediate impact on the everyday lives of the people throughout the country, extreme rainfall over Bangladesh’s coastal region is increasing, while silt-heavy runoff from glaciers in the Himalaya Mountains upstream is leading to more flooding riverbank erosion.

Advocates say this creeping salinity is having a huge impact on the environment around Bagerhat district, including a decline in crop yields like seasonal vegetables and stunting coconut and betel plant. Climate experts predict that by 2050, rising sea levels will submerge some 17 percent of Bangladesh’s land, and 25 percent land of Bagerhat district will be submerge.

Yet people are persistently fighting this crisis and trying to exist.

This project began in October 2020 is the first chapter is currently ongoing. 

ROUND 1 RECIPIENT

Saobora Narin
Cambodia

IG @saoboranarin

By The Way

In April 1975, the capital city of Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge. Infrastructure was damaged by the war, and people were forced to evacuate to the countryside to work in agriculture.

In the late 1980s, after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, people returned to the city with some settling around the wetlands and lakes on the outskirts of the urban areas, making a living from cultivating agriculture and fishing.

More than 40 years has passed since, and peace seems to have been well restored under the iron fist of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Progress in almost every area has led to a city that is rapidly changing, with heritage buildings being destroyed and replaced by commercial buildings, blue curtains walling off construction sites all around, and scaffolding almost everywhere.

Natural resources have disappeared as lakes are filled and converted into land for commercial use. The atmosphere of living with nature has shifted to one of urban isolation and loneliness, under the shadow of an exploding city.

This is an project is a work-in-progress.

ROUND 1 RECIPIENT

R.A
Myanmar

IG @arloo_puri

Reverse River

This is a project which reacts to the military regime that has staged a coup on 1st February 2021. But this is not the first time. Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962. During that long time, the false image of the military, systematic racism, patriarchal ideas, and other toxic propaganda was fed to the public.

Perspectives on the military have been significantly different between the Bamar majority and the ethnic minorities, between the urban people and the rural people, and also between different generations. This diversion is exactly what the military has wanted.

The gap of this perspective has become somewhat more diminished after the coup and amongst the new generation like Generation Z who are immune to it to some extent, but there are still many people, mostly those who have been under the military’s influences or have some kind of relationship with them, who still believe military generals are the saviors of our country.

This is a project that reflects the artist’s self-journey of detoxing herself from the lifelong teaching from the school, TV, books etc about the military’s false images.

This project is currently a work-in-progress.